It was a Monday, May 26, 2008. SMS messages poured in, most of them stating the sad news. Dante David, aka Howlin' Dave, had passed on. He'd left for rock heaven, and we were left gawking here on our puny earthly abode.
Then came the downpour of tributes, accolades, what-nots, just like the way things happen when someone passes away. Would Dante have known how he has touched so many lives, if he were alive to this very day?
Two months before he died, we were at his mother's house located at the fringes of Quezon City (or is it already part of Kalookan?) where he spent his last days on earth. Dante spoke ever so fondly of Pinoy Punk, of his excitingly turbulent life as a DJ ("...that was pure violence...", in reference to the military-civilian collision that he witnessed, while he was on board, in front of the building where DZRJ used to be), of Brave New World, and how little did he and his cohorts know that their own musical revolution will eventually inspire many kids to this very day. Dante is quite aware that he did touch lives (he even recalled one time when he was approached by some high school students who recognised him), but I doubt if he ever understood how great his influence has been.
And so a year has passed. Funny that when we do things "...in memory of (insert name of deceased here)...", we seem to make a mental count of people who have left us, and we find out that we, yes all of us, are actually undergoing a continuous process.
We can always remember these departed people whom we respect, idolise, and love, but it does not just end there. As in all other aspects of our lives, passing the torch to the younger set is an inevitable process. The older generation, the guys who have paved the way for all of us, or have provided inspiration for us to create new paths, will sooner or later be destined for greater things.
We can choose to latch on to a memory forever and ever, spewing phrases like "This is how it used to be" or "During those days". But you see, and like I always say, the world turns, and all of us are accorded the opportunity to start our own revolution. There is no better time than now.
To Dante, Howlin' Dave, the voice behind Pinoy Rock'n'Rhythm that I know, thank you once again. This playlist is my humble tribute to you, though I know that I will never measure up, not in this lifetime, not in another lifetime even. Enjoy people, and have a good week ahead.
1. ZOOT SUIT - Take A Look At That Boy
2. CAMOTE CHUNKS - Mini Skirt
3. THE MARCOS CRONIES - Simple Song
4. PINK COW - Johnny Boy
5. BAD OMEN - Future Generation
(Paumanhin sa Pink Cow! Nakausap ko noong gig ang isa sa mga baka, pero mukhang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang instructions...medyo nabasag ang "Johnny Boy" sa mix. Haaay. Learning curve. :) )